Graduate Certificate Programs in Clinical Rehabilitation

Dec 10, 2019

Graduate certificate programs in clinical rehabilitation address a variety of fields. These programs are meant for practicing health care professionals who want to enhance their education and treatment skills in a specialized area, such as mental health rehabilitation or rehabilitation technology.

A clinical rehabilitation graduate certificate program can prepare healthcare professionals to administer specialized treatment in their current profession or help boost their knowledge of a topic as they prepare for an advanced certification test. Explore some of the options available to a student seeking a graduate certificate in clinical rehabilitation.

Clinical Rehabilitation Specialties

General Graduate Certificate in Clinical Rehabilitation

This graduate certificate program supports students with classes that cover foundational topics in rehabilitation science. Some programs may focus on the assessment and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries. Others may focus on a wide range of rehabilitation studies applicable to the field of physical therapy, including motor development and function, current advances in rehabilitation science, and even independent research opportunities. The typical time to complete these programs is one year, which may include a period of clinical practice. Common course topics can include:

  • Basic principles of rehabilitation science
  • Tissue healing
  • Measurement of motor development
  • Assessment of movement
  • Corrective movement techniques

Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation Technology

With this graduate certificate, students should be exposed to various assistive devices. Students may learn how to identify which devices should be used in a wide range of situations in homes, jobs, and classrooms and teach people how to properly use the devices. Other topics might include disability laws, geriatric applications, and product design. Courses for the program, which takes one to one and a half years to complete, may include:

  • Introduction to assistive technology
  • Ergonomics
  • Augmented communication devices
  • Applications of vision devices

Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation Counseling

Some programs focus on rehabilitative counseling in settings that include drug abuse recovery programs, veteran programs, correctional facilities, family and youth services, nursing homes, and businesses. These certificate programs are often focused on preparing students for passing the exam for national certification as a rehabilitative counselor. The typical length of these programs is one to two years. Many of the programs can be completed online and often include the following common courses:

  • Theories and techniques of counseling
  • Ethics in rehabilitation counseling
  • Assessment for counseling
  • Case management and community resources
  • Psychosocial and cultural aspects related to rehabilitation counseling

Psychiatric Mental Health Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate

These programs are usually designed for professionals already working in mental health, social work, or counseling fields who want to add a mental health rehabilitation focus to their credentials. Students could gain knowledge about such topics as the characteristics of psychological illnesses, rehabilitation and treatment plans, and the long-term process of recovery. Programs range from 15 to 18 credits or about two semesters in length. A range of electives may be available, but common core course requirements include:

  • Psychiatric rehabilitation fundamentals
  • Cultural and social aspects of psychiatric disability
  • Medical issues and treatment plans related to mental health
  • Addiction and rehabilitation

Admittance to Graduate Certificate Programs in Clinical Rehabilitation

Though graduate certificate in clinical rehabilitation programs are available in several different focus areas, they share some common admittance requirements. Many programs require that students have a bachelor's or higher degree in a related field, a GPA of 3.0 or minimum GRE scores, transcripts, and either letters of reference and/or a statement of purpose. Specific prior coursework in a related area, like physiology or anatomy, may be required in addition to a resume or professional letters of reference. Some programs also stipulate that applicants have related professional experience or certification. Students with a first language other than English may be required to take an English as a foreign language test as well.

Post-bachelor's degree students and healthcare professionals who want to add a clinical rehabilitation specialty to their degree or resume can find a wide variety of programs from which to choose. Entrance requirements can include a bachelor's degree or graduate degree, depending on the focus of the certificate program.

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